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Ġēolamōnaþ or Ȝēolamōnaþ (modern English: Yule month) was the Anglo-Saxon name for the month of both December and January.[1] The Anglo-Saxon scholar Bede explains in his treatise De temporum ratione (The Reckoning of Time) that the entire winter solstice period was known as Ġēola.[2] Later on, December became known as Ǣrra-ġēolamōnaþ and January became known as Æfterra-ġēolamōnaþ, as this later Old English passage points out:

Se mōnaþ is nemned on Leden Decembris, and on ūre geþeōde se ǣrra geōla, forðan ða mōnþas twegen syndon nemde ānum naman, ōðer se ǣrra geōla, óðer se æftera. [3]

Which translates:

The month is called in Latin December, and in our language geōla for two months enjoy the same name; the first one Se Ǣrra Geola [The Preceding Yule] and the other Se Æftera [The Following].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cockayne, Thomas. "The shrine: a collection of occasional papers on dry subjects" p.151
  2. ^ Chapter XV, De mensibus Anglorum. “Lida dicitur blandus, sive navigabilis, quod in utroque mense et blanda sit serenitas aurarum, et navigari soleant aequora.”
  3. ^ Bosworth, Joseph. "An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary Online." Geóla. March 21, 2010. Accessed September 20, 2014. http://bosworth.ff.cuni.cz/015475.